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Full text of "Alexander von Humboldt"

OF
mained in England three weeks, and then Hti-mboldt
accompanied his king to Switzerland, where he joined
Ms wife and family. Madame von Humboklt deter-
mined now to proceed to Berlin with her family, to
escape the commotion of the congress ; Hmnboldt,
however, proceeded to Vienna, where the congress
was to assemble on the 1st October,
The history of this congress has been so meagrely
given in a few contemporary works, and the official
reports are so confined to generalities., that it is diffi-
cult to describe Humboldt's activity there, although.,
from his position as ambassador to the Austrian court,
and as the most talented of the three Prussian repre-
sentatives, Hardenberg and Von Stein being the two
others, it most have been considerable. He seems to
have agreed very well with Hardenberg here., in the
difficult position he was placed in as regarded the
Prussian state chancellor, although it may be sup-
posed that some differences must have arisen between
them. Else, we should have to suspect Hardenberg
of mere jealousy and envy of Humboldt's talerrte 9
in subsequently effecting his rival's dismissal.
Humboldt's knowledge., his reasoning pcwer, and,
Ms skill, were everywhere admired, and all documents
existing from that time give abundant proof of the
-respect in which he ^as held. The cc Kheinische
Merkur," in an article on the congress, 12th January,
1815, says: Cf The minister Humboldt is clever, and
knows much. Many miss the heartiness in his man-
ner which Germans like to see in their countrymen,
but he is, nevertheless, a great light. The last plans
for a German constitution are said to be by him, and
lie supports them warmly; and, of all there, he is
best able to meet the Frenchmen in their underhand
dealings/' Another article says : " The state chan-
cellor,, Hardenberg, is, as always, confiding, trusting, irn-
srapeofeing in his politics, and taking everything in a
favourable light; but Humbolctt is cold and cleaar as a